Mayor: Loathed by own, loved by Oppn

Mayor Raj Bala Malik finds herself in a peculiar position. While her partymen keep their distance from her, she has become the darling of the Opposition.

In the past one week, two functions for inaugurating greenbelts in the Mayor's ward were given a miss by the Congress councillors while the BJP councillors were in attendance.

Not only this, Malik, who contested the municipal elections last year, has invited the ire of the Congress councillors over several issues in the past few months. It started with the Mayor holding a conference to announce achievements in 100 days of her tenure. While MC officials were present at the conference, none of the councillors or even the senior deputy mayor and deputy mayor were invited.

This caused resentment among the councillors who claimed that they were sidelined. They had complained that the achievements were collective, and not of one person alone. Following this, some senior Congress councillors complained about not being consulted on issues affecting the civic body.

More recently, Congress councillors held a meeting after the Mayor went to National Environment and Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) for a meeting on solid waste management. With the Mayor having taken along with her a BJP councillor and a nominated councillor, the Congress councillors lamented that they were never consulted. When the issue came up for discussion in the MC House, the Congress councillors demanded that a committee be constituted on the issue. Both Congress councillors who were made members of the committee were not present when the meeting was called. Subsequently, the BJP and nominated councillors made recommendations, and these would be presented in the MC House.

Another grudge of the Congress councillors is that during meetings of the House and sub-committees, there are more agenda items up for discussion of wards belonging to the BJP councillors than their own.

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